March 25, 2023

Former left-wing President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva led the first round of Brazil’s presidential election on Sunday, ahead of outgoing far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, but his lead was narrower than opinion polls had expected, and so the runoff will take place in October. thirty.

Lula won 47.91% of the vote, compared to Bolsonaro’s 43.65%, according to the Supreme Electoral Court after 97.3% of the votes were counted.

On Sunday, Brazilian voters cast their ballots in a tense presidential election in which Lula hoped to win in the first round to Bolsonaro, who had previously threatened to refuse to recognize the results.

Two candidates, Lula, 76, and Bolsonaro, 67, voted early in the morning.

Lines formed in front of the polling stations, with voters dressed in the colors of the national flag in support of Bolsonaro and others dressed in red in support of Lula.

The former left-wing president (2003–2010) voted in São Bernardo do Campo, a working-class suburb of São Paulo where he was known as a union leader.

“This is the most important election for me,” said Lula, who is running for president for the sixth time, trying to win a third term 11 years after leaving power with unprecedented popularity.

“We don’t want any more hatred and divisions, we want peace in the country,” he said, commenting on the division that reigns in Brazil.

Shortly thereafter, Bolsonaro cast his vote in Rio de Janeiro, wearing the yellow and green jersey of the national football team over a bulletproof vest, and again waved his hand that the results could be appealed.

“If the elections are clean, there will be no problems,” said the outgoing president, who has repeatedly criticized the e-voting system. And may the strongest win!

At noon, the President of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, Alexandre de Moraes, confirmed that the voting was taking place “without problems, in complete tranquility”, seeking to “confirm the reliability” and “transparency” of the electronic voting system.

The latest poll by the Dataluha Institute showed that Lula would win with 50 percent of the vote, compared to Bolsonaro’s 36 percent.

When the polls closed at 17:00 (20:00 GMT), supporters of both candidates gathered to watch the results.

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